(Article for publication week of 1-12-2011 AD)
“Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Jesus Christ with eternal glory” (II Timothy 2:10).
Down through history the most zealous and faithful evangelists have been men who believed in the sovereign grace of God. Such men as George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, Rolfe Barnard, and the Founders of the Southern Baptist Convention all were Calvinists and took their example from the Apostle Paul who was willing to endure all things that sinners might be saved. One reason modern day evangelism has been so ineffective is that it is generally man centered and tells sinners what they can do for themselves rather than telling them they are hopelessly ruined without Christ.
This was no small statement on the part of the Apostle Paul. When he said he endured all things for the elect’s sakes, he was not just blowing smoke. He had been imprisoned, stoned, whipped and treated as the off scouring of the world for preaching the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Church history tells us that he was at last executed for the sake of Christ, His gospel, and the elect’s sakes.
Our text tells us that salvation has been ordained by God from all eternity. The expression “the elect’s sakes” speaks of this glorious truth of predestination. I have been setting this truth before you my readers for several months now because it is such a neglected truth in our day. Not long ago I met one of our dear readers in Wal-Mart and she told me how much she enjoys the Narrow Way and said to me “you ought to be a Presbyterian!” I thanked her because I really took it as a compliment. But the fact is our Baptist forefathers believed these truths as strong as Presbyterians. In the old days the main difference between Baptists and Presbyterians concerned church government and the administration of baptism, but they were in agreement on the doctrines of election and predestination. And true Baptists in our day still hold to these truths. I challenge my Baptist readers to search your Baptist history and you will see I am telling you the truth.
Salvation has been ordained, but it must be obtained. As we have shown you in previous articles, God has ordained the end and the means of salvation. Paul was a great believer in election and predestination, but that did not keep him from calling upon all men to repent and bow to the Lordship of Christ. His confidence in the sovereignty of God was his motivation to tell sinners who would listen that Christ is able and willing to save all who will lay down their arms of rebellion and come to Him by faith.
I pray that some elect sinner might obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory this very day. God bless you all my dear readers.